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Music for String Quartet and Turkish Folk Percussion

Erberk Eryilmaz

ERBERK ERYILMAZ, darbuka, davul, wooden spoons; piano

World Premiere Recordings



"Well, this is a ride and a half. I had no idea really what to expect from the front cover of the disc except for some folk dancing. That is certainly nailed in place, in music of vibrant life... There is stomping, and some calling out by the performers. It is quite the achievement to convey the energy of the piece within the confines of a studio environment, but somehow the Carpe Diem String Quartet manages it. The plaintive melodies (the penultimate movement) are beautifully done... This is a fascinating disc... [The] performances are faultless, as are the production values, and the music itself is well worthy of your time."
Colin Clarke, Fanfare [January/February 2022]
"[There is] enjoyment inherent in music by Turkish-American composer Erberk Eryilmaz on an MSR Classics CD. Instead of trying to blend Armenian, Mexican, Native American or other sensibilities with other genres, Eryilmaz simply uses the folk music of Turkey as a starting point for creating a whole series of short – sometimes very short – movements performed by string quartet, many in combination with Turkish instruments. The brevity of most of these pieces is a distinct plus: they establish themselves, say what they have to say clearly, then exit the stage... [In Miniatures], No. 4 is the best blending of styles anywhere on the CD, since Eryilmaz here writes entirely for traditional Western instruments but has them playing themes, rhythms and harmonies drawn directly from Turkish music. The expressive fourth movement, especially effective in providing lyricism that is scarcely typical for string quartets but that speaks directly to listeners in an affecting way... [This disc shows] clearly that Eryilmaz is seeking ways to bridge genres and produce works that straddle the divide of West and East, as Turkey itself does. On the level of individual pieces and some of the individual collections of pieces, Eryilmaz makes a good case for his approach, and at times his dancelike material even recalls the folkloric explorations of Bartók and Kodály."
Mark J. Estren, InfoDad [September 2021]
Charles Wetherbee violin 1
Marisa Ishikawa violin 2
Korine Fujiwara viola
Gregory Sauer cello

One of the most unique sought-after ensembles on the concert stage today, the Carpe Diem String Quartet is an adventurous ensemble earning widespread acclaim for performances of traditional and new repertoire, genre-bending collaborations and community engagement. The CDSQ appears regularly on traditional stages, including Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, National Gallery of Art, Chautauqua Institute, Accademia Chigiana, Suntory Hall, National Library Concert Hall and BinHai Performing Arts Center, as well as in numerous unconventional venues. CDSQ defies classification with programming and collaborations that blend new and old classical, Romani, tango, folk, pop, rock, jazz and multicultural music. The Quartet has premiered works by composers from a variety of backgrounds and traditions, including Korine Fujiwara, Jonathan Leshnoff, Reza Vali, Mark Lomax II and now Erberk Eryilmaz. The group has collaborated with a variety of artists, including American Folk musician Willy Porter, Raul Juarena, David Krakauer, Yo-Yo Ma, Jayme Stone, Shannon Heaton, Jeff Midkiff, Tom Battenberg, Nicolo Spera, Yihan Chen and santoor master, Dariush Saghafi. Highly active recording artists, CDSQ has released cycles of the complete string quartets of Taneyev, Leshnoff and Smoot; two critically acclaimed albums of music by Reza Vali; two albums with Willy Porter; Bruce Wolosoff's Songs without Words, Anansi and the Sky God; Quintets for Mandolin and String Quartet by Jeff Midkiff; and Montana, featuring music by composer and quartet member, Korine Fujiwara. Devoted to expanding the reach and impact of community engagement, CDSQ has been awarded six grants from the PNC Foundation. The Quartet's outreach performances incorporate diverse and eclectic repertoire tailored to specific audiences, exploring lively, thought-provoking themes to help audiences connect with chamber music. These carefully crafted performances have allowed the Quartet to reach underserved audiences, including The Apache Nation and Ohio Women's Reformatory residents. [ ]

Turkish-American composer and performer Erberk Eryılmaz is recognized for bringing the energy of the folk music of his homeland to the concert stage with a creative and dramatic approach. His compositions have been performed at some of the world’s most important concert venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Sydney Opera House and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. He was selected to participate in the 2021 Moon Arts Project, which for the first time in history will bring music to the Moon. Eryılmaz' work, Was her face the moon or sunlight?, received its premiere performance at NASA, next to the Saturn V rocket, the largest in history. His compositions and performances are often heard on Turkish State Radio and on American Public Media's Performance Today, and have received praise in the Washington Post, which described his music as a 'dervish-like explosion.' As a composer, pianist, conductor and folk percussionist, Eryılmaz has collaborated with important ensembles, including the Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, Houston Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Austin Camerata, Apollo Chamber Players and with the Carpe Diem, Tesla and Del Sol string quartets. He has received numerous awards, including the BNY Mellon Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Sallie Shepherd Perkins Prize for Best Achievement, and the Diemente Prize. In 2015, Eryılmaz and his wife Laura Krentzman established Hoppa Pro ject, which seeks to promote music from Eastern Europe and the Middle East by performing in a wide range of styles, from folk to contemporary music. Eryılmaz earned a Bachelor of Music from the Hartt School, Master of Music and Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon and a Doctor of Musical Arts from Rice University. He teaches composition at the Ankara Music and Fine Arts University. [ ]

DANCES OF THE YOĞURT MAKER for String Quartet (2014)
Kekliği Düz Ovada Avlarım
Yayla Yolları
Ham Çökelek
Türkmen Kızı
Açıl Ey Ömrümün Varı
Bir Boyuna Baktım Bir De Yüzüne
Silifke’nin Yoğurdu

HOPPA! 3 for String Quartet and Darbuka (2018)
Antakya Çiftetellisi
Evlerinin Önü Boyalı Direk

MINIATURES SET NO.4 for String Quartet (2012)
Saz Semaisi
Bolu Oyun Havası
Sıksaray Horon Havası

MINIATURES SET NO.5 for String Quartet and Turkish Folk Percussion (2015)
Hopa Barı
Kaşık Havası
Aksak Horo
Ağır Aksak Şarkı
Göbek Havası

THRACIAN AIRS OF BESIME SULTAN for String Quartet (2015)
q = 72
q = 138
q = 184
q = 63
q = 192
q = 192

INSISTENT MUSIC for Piano Quintet (2019)
q = 184
q = 100
q = 120
q = 48
q = 184

Recorded 20-22 January 2020 in the Lillian H. Duncan Recital Hall, Alice Pratt Brown Hall, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, Texas. Producer: Judith Sherman. Recording, editing and mastering engineer: Andy Bradley. Assistant editing engineer: Jeanne Velonis.

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MSR Classics


Chamber Music of REZA VALI CARPE DIEM …